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Anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory effects of ethanol extract from Houttuynia cordata poultice

Houttuynia cordata (HC) has been commonly used as many traditional remedies in local areas of Japan. Although many pharmacological activities of HC have been reported, the mechanism underlying the effect of HC remains unknown. We conducted the interview survey in Japan to verify how HC was actually used. The interview survey revealed that HC poultice (HCP) prepared from smothering fresh leaves of HC was most frequently used for the treatment of purulent skin diseases including furuncle and carbuncle with high effectiveness. Ethanol extract of HCP (eHCP) showed anti-bacterial effects against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), and showed an anti-biofilm activity against MRSA. eHCP showed dose-dependent inhibition of S. aureus lipoteichoic acid (LTA)-induced interleukin-8 and CCL20 production in human keratinocyte without any cytotoxicity. These results suggest that HCP is effective for skin abscess and its underlying mechanism might be the complicated multiple activities for both bacteria and host cells.